De Vries receives a five-place grid penalty for Bird crash

Nyck De Vries will take a five place grid penalty at the first Valencia E-Prix on April 23rd after the FIA race stewards deemed the Dutch driver to have caused the accident which eliminated himself and championship leader Sam Bird.

The accident occurred on the final lap of the race immediately after the track went green following a late-race safety car triggered by Rene Rast’s crashed Audi.

The Jaguar and the Mercedes were fighting for what at the time was the final point of the race, although several penalties to drivers ahead of them would have likely seen both score additionally had they made it to the chequered flag.

De Vries dived to the inside of Bird’s Jaguar but appeared to lose it on bumps under braking for turn seven. Contact with the Jaguar sent both in the wall and collected Oliver Rowland’s innocent Nissan as they did so.

“Today was tough,” said De Vries. “This morning we were very much compromised because of the changing weather conditions during qualifying. Bearing that in mind, we made the best of it. It was a relatively steady race and comeback, but I got into a racing incident on the last lap when we were fighting for P10.

“With the benefit of hindsight, I would say that I probably wanted the point too badly which was not even necessary, as a number of penalties were set to be awarded after the race. Also, ours would have been the fastest lap of the race. It just wasn’t meant to be today.”

Ian James admitted it was sad to see De Vries retire from the race with potential points on offer after the race, but he was satisfied with De Vries recover driver from 17th on the grid.

“Nyck was less lucky again today. He was in the fight for points for a long time, coming all the way from P17, but we saw what happened in the last lap; he had an incident, and was unable to finish the race. It’s unfortunate to see him not having been able to score points this weekend, but he’s once again shown what he is capable of.”

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